Menaka Raman-Wilms and Bill Curry, the Globe and Mail:
Members of Parliament have passed Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act, handing the controversial legislation to the Senate just ahead of the summer recess.
The bill was passed early Tuesday morning with a vote of 196 to 112. The Conservatives have been staunchly opposed to the government legislation, arguing that the removal of a clause that protected the rights of individuals to upload content such as videos to social media sites means Canadian citizens could fall under the new regulations. The government has said that other amendments ensure that people’s rights will not be threatened.
Given the woefully inadequate Canadian Heritage committee hearings with the exclusion of digital-first Canadian creators, technology companies, consumer groups, and numerous independent experts as well as the passage of amendments without debate, discussion or experts, Bill C-10 desperately needs a comprehensive review. If Parliament resumes in the fall, there will be an opportunity for that review in the Senate. If, as most expect, there is an election, Bill C-10 will die, providing a much-needed opportunity to start from scratch by developing forward-looking, balanced legislation that supports the creative sector, safeguards freedom of expression, and recognizes the risks of over-broad regulations overseen by the CRTC.
Even though its passage seems mostly for show than any real effect, this is a terrible piece of legislation. I expect better.